Mad Max Director Reveals How Long Furiosa Has Been In Works

Here's hoping it's worth the wait!

By Mark McKee | Updated

mad max furiosa

George Miller has been changing Hollywood for 40 years. He is the father of the post-apocalyptic and dystopian future genres of film. While this genre is now one of the most often seen in the industry, from novel adaptations like Hunger Games and The Maze Runner to films like The Book of Eli and A Quiet Place, it was relatively unknown when Miller hit the scene. That was when he launched one of the most influential franchises in the history of film, Mad Max. The 1979 original starred Mel Gibson in a world facing a collapse of society due to drastic oil shortages. The film sparked two direct sequels. After 30 years of dormancy, the franchise flooded back with Mad Max: Fury Road. One of the standouts of that film was Charlize Theron’s Furiosa, who’s getting a spinoff that’s been in the works for a surprisingly long time. 

In a conversation with AV Club, Miller spoke about his upcoming prequel and revealed the surprising moment in time when he wrote the script. The legendary director believed the cast and crew of Mad Max: Fury Road needed as much background and history on the Furiosa as he could give them. So he sat down with fellow writer Nico Lathouris and wrote in novel form what happened to Max (Tom Hardy replaced Mel Gibson) the year prior to the new film, and in screenplay form, the background of Charlize Theron’s character. Miller then realized that they had an excellent screenplay on their hands and decided that if the new movie did well, he would want to tell her story. 

Charlize Theron in Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

Miller’s creation in 1979 changed the industry’s landscape in multiple ways. On top of being one of the most influential movies ever to be filmed in Australia, it inspired some of today’s biggest names and artists who still call back to its moments. James Wan credits the film’s final scene, where Johnny is given a choice to cut the chain or his foot to escape, as the inspiration for the entire Saw franchise. The scene is even duplicated in the first film. Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior inspired even more Hollywood legends. Guillermo del Toro, David Fincher, and Robert Rodriguez all credit it as one of their favorites. James Cameron also loves it so much that he imitated a scene in The Terminator. He used a low shot to depict the murderous robot dragging his leg after getting hit by a truck; the same shot used when Max was shot in the leg.  

With so many of Hollywood’s talents looking up to Miller, it isn’t hard to understand why the man is prepared. To be able to craft genre-changing and industry-inspiring films, he figured out a long time ago that you have to know who your characters are and why they act the way they do. It also seems like he is the kind of guy that won’t let an opportunity go by the wayside. If he is going to write out the background for a character as dynamic as Furiosa, he might as well write it in the form of Mad Max’s first spinoff